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Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction OCSS - Academic Programs

Ohio Central High School

Effective January 10, 2005, the Ohio Central School System (OCSS) centralized the high school programs at the Madison and London Correctional Institutions. The Ohio Central High School is designed to better serve the Ohio Department of Education requirements for graduation. This unified high school provides Carnegie units to both the juvenile offenders at Madison Correctional and the adult students at London Correctional. In addition, the Ohio Central High School offers a high school options program for those students in other DRC institutions.

We believe the unified Ohio Central High School enables the OCSS to maintain a higher school staff retention pattern. Other benefits include:

The unified high school standardizes each of the two prison high school program Carnegie unit offerings as listed:


Class Madison London
English Q* Q
Social Studies Q Q
Math Q Q
Science Q Q
PE/Health Q Q
Business A A
Foreign Language A** A
Fine Arts A A
Music A A
High School Options A A
Electives A A

Q* - offered every quarter, A** 0 offered as necessary

  • This schedule allows flexibility in scheduling courses to better serve our students.
  • The High School teachers are more effectively utilized by sharing them between the prisons.
  • Per union contract and Memo of Understanding, the high school teachers of the Ohio Central High School will receive a supplemental pay.
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Literacy Units

The Ohio Central School System maintains a unique system of literacy units to serve our lowest Adult Basic Education students. This concept of literacy units began at the London Correctional Institution in 1987 and has expanded since to 22 institutions. The theory that prompted the creation of the literacy units was that students would live and learn with their tutors both in class and outside of class if they all shared the same space – that learning and instruction would occur beyond the classroom.

Generally, each literacy teacher is assigned 60 students and 30 trained inmate tutors or a 2 to 1 ratio. The trained tutors work with the students on a specific program that is developed for each student under the direction and expertise of a certified teacher. This frees the teachers to work with small groups, to do assessments and to observe the students as they work. Students identified as literacy students are assigned to the literacy units in what could be termed as an educational therapeutic community. The literacy units in the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction serve functionally illiterate students with a reading level of 226 or below on the CASAS or 6.0 or below on the TABE. These students upon identification are moved to a living unit where school is conducted for six hours a day, five days a week. Instruction in these units is primarily focused on reading and writing while the format is small group, or one-on-one tutoring in basic literacy skills. OCSS tutors are trained in a variety of methods to complement the instruction of our literacy teachers at each institution.

This past year our literacy units served 3168 students. Our tutor trainers trained 936 literacy tutors to tutor other inmates. We currently maintain 1208 inmate tutors at all of our 31 institutions. Over the last 10 years approximately 8000 tutors have been trained. This past year 247,145 tutor hours were reported. The Ohio Central School System literacy program continues to evolve and during the coming years we anticipate a number of positive changes.

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Character Education

During this past year, the OCSS Curriculum Committee approved a new character education curriculum. This curriculum replaces the former Developing Character for Reentering Society, which was enacted in 2002. The purpose of this curriculum is to provide character education for student development. Lessons are intended to provide the student with the necessary social and emotional skills to succeed in their daily lives both in and out of correctional facilities.

Character Education programs include, but are not limited to, Designs for Progress which provides instructional courses of study which emphasize the affective domain, that is, high order cognitive skills as described in Bloom’s Taxonomy (thinking and responding appropriately); and Positive Solutions or values clarification which includes understanding of the different types of personalities and how to deal appropriately with them. The latter is based on a color scheme which identifies the different personality types – Orange, the highly creative, global thinker; Blue, the empathetic people person; Green, the highly analytical person; Orange, the highly organized individual. Tools for Success is a character education program designed for the Career Technical student that includes elements of the both programs described above and how they relate to the world of work. Other programs are also available in a tool kit, which include variations of all of the above.

Due to the needs of the students, development of appropriate social and emotional behaviors/skills, are critical for successful reentry into society. Such skills would include, but are not limited to: appropriate communications, problem solving, emotional growth, successful decision-making, workplace readiness, personal growth and lifelong learning.

Acquisition of these skills can be achieved through a variety of materials and instructional methods. In an effort to better meet the needs of the students, teachers will be able to choose which materials are appropriate within guidelines of department policies and procedures.

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